Young French People Are Having Less and Less Sex, According to a Study

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An Ifop study entitled “The ‘sex recession’: Are the French having less sex?” and published on Tuesday, February 6, revealed the following.

In detail, both men and women are affected in equal proportions. While 7% of men and 11% of women were sexually inactive in 2007, these numbers have now risen to 22% and 26% respectively.

The frequency of sexual intercourse has also decreased, as analyzed by Ifop. Nearly 4 out of 10 French people report having an average of one sexual intercourse per week in 2024, compared to nearly 6 out of 10 in 2009.

Nearly half of women still report having sex without wanting to, but this number was much higher forty years ago, with nearly eight out of ten women feeling obliged to do so. According to François Kraus, director of the gender, sexuality, and sexual health department at Ifop, “Although conjugal duty has not completely disappeared, this survey highlights the increasing proportion of French people who are able to break free from a certain ‘sexual normality,’ particularly from social pressures that inevitably link a couple to an intensive sexual life.”

The proportion rises to 54% among women. For sexually inactive French individuals, the primary issue is “lack of affection,” with “92% of single women and 78% of single men feeling a greater lack of tenderness than sex,” according to Ifop.

However, there is a persistent difference between men and women regarding prolonged abstinence: only 3 out of 10 women claim to feel a lack if they do not have sex for a long period, compared to 6 out of 10 men. Among young couples under the same roof and under 35, “half of the men (50%, compared to 42% of women) admit to having avoided sexual intercourse to watch TV shows or movies,” according to the study.

Similar figures are reported for video games, with nearly 53% of men under 35 stating that they have avoided sex to play games, and for social media – “preferred over sex by 48% of men” of the same age. The study also states that “platforms like Netflix, offering such addictive and time-consuming content, are reducing both interest in intercourse and the time available for sexual activity.”

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